UK winners 2010
Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust, Scotland
Islanders doing it for themselves
If you don’t think you can really reduce your energy consumption, then go and talk to the Islanders of Eigg. By carefully managing their energy use, actively encouraging energy-saving in everyone’s daily life and generating 90% of electricity through renewable energy, the Islanders have cut their carbon by nearly 50%. As the Chair of the Island’s Green Team says, “in a community-led scheme like ours, people have more responsibility to save energy, but if it’s led by the government, people just leave it to the authorities.”
Northwards Housing, Manchester
Life gets cosy in Manchester’s draughty homes
Residents of North Manchester’s draughty council homes have long-wanted to be warmer. They also want to spend less on that warmth. Northwards Housing has delivered. Going far beyond government standards, they are converting their housing stock into energy-efficient homes, with no charge to tenants. Already over 70% of their 12,500 houses have been overhauled with external wall insulation, double glazed windows, and even an A-rated boiler. And with personal comfort come environmental benefits. Carbon emissions have dropped by at least 17,500 tonnes a year.
Okehampton College, Devon
A sustainable future depends on future generations. Okehampton College is setting an example. Their aim is carbon neutrality. Energy-saving behaviour via replacing lights and using solar energy, is encouraged, while staff and governors are also working towards harnessing wind, hydro and biomass. The College has cut its own electricity bills by 50%, saving £20,000 a year, while also engaging 11 feeder primary schools and the local community in energy projects.
St Columb Minor School, Cornwall
Fun and games at eco school
To make something work you usually have to make it enjoyable as well as worthwhile. The Eco Team and staff at this primary school are taking a practical but fun-packed approach to driving energy use down by making eco pledges in class and at home, generating energy with wind and solar, and giving their building a green overhaul. Not many lights left on in the corridors we suspect.
Suffolk County Council, Suffolk
Investing in wood fuel
Suffolk in Eastern England is rich in woodland. And wood can provide a sustainable source of heat when used in efficient boilers. Which is exactly what local schools are doing thanks to the local council which is managing the local resource while supplying wood-fuel for heating. The initiative saves the schools energy, reduces CO2 emissions by 1,200 tonnes a year and cuts their fuel bills by up to 25%. It also sets an invaluable example for future generations.
Willis Renewable Energy Systems, Belfast
Invention boosts solar water heating
Innovation is at the heart of sustainability. Yet often that innovation is about enhancing what we have already got. The Solasyphon is a perfect example. A plumbing invention that speeds up and simplifies the retro-fitting of solar water heating in existing homes, it saves the cost and carbon impact of buying a new water tank. So far 2,500 Solasyphons have been sold and there is strong interest from companies as far afield as the US and New Zealand.